MicroProse Software Inc. was an American video game publisher and developer founded by Bill Stealey and Sid Meier in 1982. It developed and published numerous games, many of which are regarded as groundbreaking and cult titles, including starting the Civilization and X-COM series. Most of their internally developed titles were vehicle simulation and strategy games. In 1993, the company lost most of their UK-based personnel and became a subsidiary of Spectrum HoloByte. Subsequent cuts and corporate policies led to Sid Meier, Jeff Briggs and Brian Reynolds leaving and forming Firaxis Games in 1996, as MicroProse closed its ex-Simtex development studio in Austin, Texas. In 1998, following an unsuccessful buyout attempt by GT Interactive Software, the struggling MicroProse became a wholly owned subsidiary of Hasbro Interactive and its development studios in Alameda and Chapel Hill, North Carolina were closed the following year. In 2001, MicroProse ceased to exist as an entity and Hasbro Interactive sold the MicroProse intellectual properties to Infogrames Entertainment, SA.
MicroProse UK's former main office in Chipping Sodbury was closed in 2002, followed by the company's former headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland in 2003. The brand was revived in 2007 when Interactive Game Group acquired it from Atari Interactive Infogrames; the MicroProse brand was licensed to the Legacy Engineering Group for consumer electronics. From 2010 to 2018 Cybergun owned the MicroProse brand; as of 2018, the MicroProse brand is owned by David Lagettie. In summer 1982, mutual friends who knew of their shared interest in aviation arranged for retired military pilot Bill Stealey and computer programmer Sid Meier to meet in Las Vegas, Nevada. After Meier surprised Stealey by defeating him when playing Red Baron, he explained that he had analyzed the game's programming to predict future actions and claimed that he could design a better home computer game in one week. Stealey promised to sell the game. Although Meier needed two months to produce Hellcat Ace, Stealey sold 50 copies in his first sales appointment and the game became the first product of their new company.
They planned to name it Smugger's Software, but chose MicroProse.. MicroProse became profitable in its second month and had $10 million in sales by 1986. MicroProse advertised its first batch of games in 1982, under the headline "Experience the MicroProse Challenge!!!" All three were written by Sid Meier for the Atari 8-bit family of home computers: platformer Floyd of the Jungle, 2D shooter Chopper Rescue, first-person airplane combat game Hellcat Ace. Hellcat Ace began a series of sophisticated 8-bit flight simulation games, including Spitfire Ace and Solo Flight, that defined the company. In 1983, MicroProse ported Floyd of the Jungle to the Commodore 64, their first product for that machine. By 1984, the company had begun supporting the Apple IBM compatibles. MicroProse released the air traffic control game Kennedy Approach, written by Andy Hollis, in 1985. Conflict in Vietnam was the final MicroProse title for the Atari 8-bit line. In 1987, Computer Gaming World considered MicroProse one of the top five computer game companies, alongside Activision, Electronic Arts, Epyx.
The PC market was, along with the company's top priority. By 1989, support for 8-bit machines was dropped. MicroProse developed for that machine its entire nine years on the market. MicroProse started a branch in the United Kingdom to cross-publish titles in Europe, to import some European titles to be published in the United States. Notable products from this period include simulation games F-15 Strike Eagle, F-19 Stealth Fighter, Project Stealth Fighter, Red Storm Rising and Silent Service, action-strategy games such as Sid Meier's Pirates! and Sword of the Samurai. Several games from different developers were distributed by MicroProse under the labels "Firebird" and "Rainbird", including Carrier Command and Savage. In the early 1990s, MicroProse released the hit strategy games Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon and Sid Meier's Civilization, designed by Meier and developed by its internal division, MPS Labs, on multiple platforms. Critically acclaimed, both of them became two of the best-selling strategy games of all time and spawned multiple sequels.
Some of MicroProse's simulation games from the 1980s received remakes in the early 1990s, such as Night Hawk: F-117A Stealth Fighter 2.0, Silent Service II and Gunship 2000, made some first cautious attempts to expand into the console market with F-117A Stealth Fighter and Super Strike Eagle. Brand new simulation and strategy titles included 1942: The Pacific Air War, Fields of Glory, Formula One Grand Prix, Harrier Jump Jet, Knights of the Sky, Subwar 2050 and Task Force 1942. At the same time, MicroProse attempted to diversify beyond its niche roots as a sim and strategy game company. Encouraged by the success of Pirates!, MicroProse designed further action-strategy titles such as Covert Action and Hyperspeed, experimented with the role-playing genre by developing BloodNet and Darklands. The company invested a large sum of money to create its arcade game division as well as their own graphic adventure ga
Candy Land is a simple racing board game published by Hasbro. The game requires minimal counting skills, making it suitable for young children. Due to the design of the game, there is no strategy involved: players are never required to make choices, just follow directions; the winner is predetermined by the shuffle of the cards. A perennial favorite, the game sells about one million copies per year; the race is weaved around a storyline about finding the lost king of Candy Land. The board consists of a winding, linear track made of 134 spaces, most red, blue, orange or purple; the remaining pink spaces are named locations such as Candy Cane Forest and Gumdrop Mountain, or characters such as Queen Frostine and Gramma Nutt. Players take turns removing the top card from a stack, most of which show one of six colors, moving their marker ahead to the next space of that color; some cards have two marks of a color, in which case the player moves the marker ahead to the second-next space of that color.
The deck has one card for each named location, drawing such a card moves a player directly to that board location. This move can be either forward or backward in the classic game. Prior to the 2006 edition, the board had three colored spaces marked with a dot. Two of these spaces were designated as "cherry pitfalls" and the other was situated in Molasses Swamp. A player who lands on such a space is stuck (all cards are ignored until a card is drawn of the same color as the square. In the 2006 version, dot spaces were replaced with licorice spaces that prompt the player landing on it to lose the next turn; the game is won by landing on or passing the final square and thus reaching the goal of the Candy Castle. The official rules specify that any card that would cause the player to advance past the last square wins the game, but many play so that one must land on the last square to win; the 2004 version changed the last space from a violet square to a rainbow space, meaning it applies to any color drawn by a player, thus resolving any dispute about who wins the game.
As of 2013, Candy Land is being sold by Hasbro with a spinner instead of cards. The spinner includes all outcomes that were on the cards; the game was designed in 1948 by Eleanor Abbott, while she was recovering from polio in San Diego, California. The game was tested by the children in the same wards on the hospital; the children suggested. The game was bought by Milton Bradley and first published in 1949 as a temporary fill in for their main product line, school supply. Candy Land became Milton Bradley's best selling game surpassing its previous top seller, Uncle Wiggly, put the company in the same league as its main competitor, Parker Brothers; the original art has been purported to be by Abbott. In 1984, Hasbro purchased Milton Bradley. Landmark Entertainment Group revamped the game with new art, adding characters and a story line in 1984. Hasbro treats it as a brand. For example, they market Candy Land puzzles, a travel version, a personal computer game, a handheld electronic version. Candy Land was involved in one of the first disputes over internet domain names in 1996.
An adult web content provider registered candyland.com, Hasbro objected. Hasbro obtained an injunction against the use. In 2012, Hasbro announced a film which triggered a lawsuit by Landmark Entertainment Group over ownership and royalties owned for the characters and story line introduced in the 1984 edition. A December 2005 article in Forbes magazine analyzed the most popular American toys by decade, with help from the Toy Industry Association. Candy Land led the list for the 1940–1949 decade. In 2005, the game was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York. At least four versions of the Candy Land board game were made; the first dates from 1949. This version, other early versions, had only locations and no characters. A board copyrighted in 1962 shows a track layout different from the more recent versions. In the first edition, the pawns were wooden but was changed in the 1967 version to plastic gingerbread men. One further revision was made; the next edition of the game in 1984, introduced the characters such as Mr. Mint and Gramma Nutt, a storyline, has the modern track layout, ends with a purple square.
Some of the characters and place names were changed in 2002. Queen Frostine became "Princess" Frostine, the classic Molasses Swamp was changed to Chocolate Swamp, Princess Lolly was changed to Lolly, the character Plumpy was removed entirely. A VCR board game version of the game was made in 1986. Hasbro released an electronic version of the game for Windows in 1998. An animated 2005 feature, Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure, was produced and spawned a DVD game version of Candy Land; the "Give Kids the World: Village edition" of Candy Land was produced by Hasbro for the Give Kids The World Village, a non-profit resort in Kissimmee, Florida for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. In this version, traditional Candy Land characters and locations were replaced with the venues and characters of the Village, such as Mayor Clayton and Ms. Merry. There are licensed versions of Candy Land with characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob. Characters depend on the version of the game.
The Kids – In the classic version, they are two blonde twins. In 2002, there are four kids of varying races. In the 2010 edition, t
Cluedo, known as Clue in North America, is a murder mystery game for three to six players, devised by Anthony E. Pratt from Birmingham, England; the game was first manufactured by Waddingtons in the UK in 1949. Since it has been relaunched and updated several times, it is owned and published by the American game and toy company Hasbro; the object of the game is to determine who murdered the game's victim, where the crime took place, which weapon was used. Each player assumes the role of one of the six suspects, attempts to deduce the correct answer by strategically moving around a game board representing the rooms of a mansion and collecting clues about the circumstances of the murder from the other players. Numerous games, books, a film, a musical have been released as part of the Cluedo franchise. Several spinoffs have been released featuring various extra characters and rooms, or different game play; the original game is marketed as the "Classic Detective Game", the various spinoffs are all distinguished by different slogans.
In 2008, Cluedo: Discover the Secrets was created as a modern spinoff, but it was criticised in the media and by fans of the original game. Cluedo: The Classic Mystery Game was introduced in 2012, returning to Pratt's classic formula but adding several variations. By 2016 Hasbro launched the current standard version of the game with the first new original character in over 67 years: Dr. Orchid. In 1944, Anthony E. Pratt, an English musician, applied for a patent of his invention of a murder/mystery-themed game named "Murder!". Shortly thereafter and his wife, Elva Pratt, who had helped in designing the game, presented it to Waddingtons' executive, Norman Watson, who purchased it and provided its trademark name of "Cluedo". Although the patent was granted in 1947, due to post-war shortages in the UK the game was not launched by Waddingtons until 1949, it was licensed to Parker Brothers in the US for publication, where it was renamed "Clue" along with other minor changes. There were several differences between the original game concept and that published in 1949, In particular, Pratt's original design calls for ten characters, one of whom was to be designated the victim by random drawing prior to the start of the game.
These ten included the eliminated Mr. Brown, Mr. Gold, Miss Grey, Mrs. Silver; the characters of Nurse White and Colonel Yellow were renamed Mrs. White and Colonel Mustard for the actual release; the game allowed for play of up to eight remaining characters. There were eleven rooms, including the eliminated "gun room" and cellar. In addition there were nine weapons including the unused bomb, shillelagh, fireplace poker, the used axe and poison; some of these unused weapons and characters appeared in spin-off versions of the game. Some gameplay aspects were different as well. Notably, the remaining playing cards were distributed into the rooms to be retrieved, rather than dealt directly to the players. Players had to land on another player in order to make suggestions about that player's character through the use of special counter-tokens, once exhausted, a player could no longer make suggestions. There were other minor differences, all of which were updated by the game's initial release and remain unchanged in the standard Classic Detective Game editions of the game.
The methodology used in the early versions of Cluedo is remarkably similar to a traditional, if little known, American card game, The King of Hearts Has Five Sons. However, Parlett himself said that his inspiration was a murder mystery parlour game he used to play with friends where youngsters "would congregate in each other's homes for parties at weekends. We'd play a stupid game called Murder, where guests crept up on each other in corridors and the victim would shriek and fall on the floor." Cluedo was marketed as "The Great New Detective Game" upon its launch in 1949 in North America, made a deal to license "The Great New Sherlock Holmes Game" from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate. Advertising at the time suggested players would take on the guise of "Sherlock Holmes following the path of the criminal", but no depictions of Holmes appear in the advertising or on the box. By 1950 the game was marketed as "The Great Detective Game" until the 1960s, at which time it became: "Parker Brothers Detective Game".
With the launch of the US 1972 edition, a television commercial showed Holmes and Watson engaged in a competitive game. Adjusting with the times, in 1979 US TV commercials a detective, resembling a bumbling Inspector Clouseau from the popular Pink Panther film franchise, looks for clues. In 1986, the marketing slogan added "Classic Detective Game" which persists through the last 2002/2003 edition. In the UK, Cluedo did not start using "The Great Detective Game" marketing slogan until the mid-1950s, which it continued using until the 2000 edition when it adopted the "Classic Detective Game" slogan. However, in the mid-1950s Waddingtons adopted a Sherlock Holmes-type detective to adorn their box covers for a brief time, though unlike the US editions, there was no acknowledgement that the character was the famous detective. In the 1980s, as in the US, Sherlock Holmes appeared in TV advertising of the time, along with other classic detectives such as Sam Spade; the game consists of a board which shows the rooms and secret-passages of an English country house called Tudor M
Vicious Cycle Software
Vicious Cycle Software was a video game development company based in Morrisville, North Carolina, United States. Vicious Cycle was founded in 2000 by Eric Peterson, Dave Ellis, Marc Racine and Wayne Harvey after layoffs at the local MicroProse development studio forced several game developers into finding other work. Racine resigned as Vice President and Director of Production in the Spring of 2005 to pursue other ventures. Ellis left the company in the Summer of 2000, but returned in 2005 to take a position as game designer. Vicious Cycle has released titles for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable systems as well as the Microsoft Windows platform. In 2005, Vicious Cycle announced the opening of their Monkey Bar Games division. Monkey Bar Games was focused on providing mass-market games to gamers of all ages. Monkey Bar Games released video games incorporating licensed characters from Ben 10, Dora the Explorer, Curious George. A game was released in late 2006 to coincide with the release of the Flushed Away animated feature film.
In 2005, Vicious Cycle announced the release of their Vicious Engine game engine. The Vicious Engine is a complete game development middleware solution for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Portable, GameCube and Microsoft Windows; the Vicious Engine is one of the first game engines to offer full support for the PSP and Wii platforms. On June 20, 2007, Vicious Cycle was acquired by D3 Publisher, making Vicious Cycle Software a subsidiary of D3Publisher of America and a second‐tier subsidiary of D3 Inc. Vicious Cycle released Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on February 26, 2009. On October 1, 2009, they announced Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond for Xbox LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation Store for winter 2009; the second version of the Vicious Engine, Ve2, was released on March 25, 2009 at the Game Developers Conference. It features improvements for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In Spring of 2014, Vicious Cycle was acquired by Little Orbit.
As the final two games neared completion, several rounds of layoffs reduced the studio to a skeleton crew. Vicious Cycle closed its doors permanently in January 2016. Vicious Cycle Software official site Monkey Bar Games official site Vicious Engine official site Vicious Cycle Software entry at MobyGames
Action Man is an action figure launched in Britain in 1966 by Palitoy as a licensed copy of Hasbro's American "movable fighting man", G. I. Joe. Action Man was produced and sold in the United Kingdom and Australia by Palitoy Ltd of Coalville, Leicestershire from 1966 until 1984; the figure and accessories were based on the Hasbro 1964 G. I. Joe figure. Hasbro's G. I. Joe figure was patented in 1966; the specific method of attaching the appendages was patented as a "Connection for Use in Toy Figures". The first Action Man figures were Action Sailor and Action Pilot. All were available in the four original hair colours: Blonde, Auburn and Black, they were accompanied by outfits depicting United States Forces of the Korean War. From 1970-1984, the basic boxed figures and accompanying uniforms and accessories would reflect the forces of the United Kingdom rather than the USA. Action Man was subsequently reintroduced in 1993, based on the G. I. Joe Hall of Fame figure of that time. Palitoy was the UK licensee for Hasbro Industries.
Palitoy grew out of a plastics firm established by Alfred Edward Pallett in 1909 and went on to become one of Britain's leading toy manufacturers until its ultimate closure in 1984. In 1964 Sales Director Hal Belton brought back from the States a new toy called G I Joe to give, as a present, to his grandson; when he realised that it was well received by his grandson he "borrowed" the toy and presented it to the General Manager Miles Fletcher. Miles and his Production Director Brian Wybrow made contact with Hasbro at the New York toy fair the next year. Samples were acquired from Hasbro and marketing research was carried out – Palitoy employees were given samples to take home for their children to test; the controversy at the time was "should boys be playing with a doll". Palitoy ignored the word "doll" was banned when discussing the new toy. A name was needed and Gee Advertising was commissioned to come up with some ideas. A list was passed around the company for people to cast their preference.
One name remembered was "Ace 21". Both Peter Watson, of Gees, Les Cooke, Palitoy Brand Manager, claim authorship of the name Action Man, but it was Sales Manager Harry Trowell who suggested the name to Miles Fletcher over lunch at the local pub, the Fox and Goose. After lengthy negotiation a licensing deal to produce the toy using Hasbro tooling and Far East sourcing was agreed in late 1965, just prior to the launch at the British Toy Fair in January 1966. In the early years Action Man competed with the British Tommy Gunn by Pedigree Toys who were the producers of the Sindy doll; the Tommy Gunn figure copied aspects of Hasbro's G. I. Joe, released two years earlier in the United States. Regardless, Tommy Gunn was regarded as a higher quality in terms of equipment and accuracy of accessories since the Action Man of the 1960s was little more than a re-packaged G. I. Joe. However, he was unable to compete with Action Man and was discontinued in 1968. In the late 1960s and early 1970s many other companies produced competition for Action Man, but all were of the cheap blow-moulded variety, which produces thin-walled components lacking the articulation and sturdiness of the Palitoy components, which utilised more costly Injection and Rotational moulding processes.
Action Man was developed with British themes from 1970 onwards: military and sportsman, as Palitoy wanted to distinguish their product line from the U. S. counterpart. William A. G. Pugh was the head of Action Man's product development at Palitoy, can be credited with the development of innovations to the product line which included the flocked hair and gripping hands, which crossed over to the G. I. Joe line. Hasbro realising that adding a new feature to the manikin helped to maintain sales developed the Eagle Eyes, adopted by Palitoy for Action Man, by extension to that of other Hasbro licensees. One series that set Palitoy's line apart from Hasbro's was the "Ceremonials". Although Hasbro had a set of Cadet ceremonial outfits, they did not match the scope and range of the British versions, which included a horse of the Life Guards with full ceremonial regalia as an optional set; the non-military was covered with adventurous elements such as mountain rescue, Arctic exploration and deep sea diving.
One outfit was only available through the Action Man stars scheme. In the G. I. Joe lineup, this outfit was sold with figure in a variety of configurations through Hasbro Canada. Military styled Action Man made a brief resurgence in the early 1990s but between 1996 and present Hasbro used the name without any military theme as a modern adventurer complete with arch-enemies Dr X and Professor Gangrene. Marketing changed from producing a basic figure with the option to buy several different outfits to whole packs of figure plus outfit and equipment for a given "mission"; this specialisation together with improved production techniques led to figures with built-in abilities, such as karate moves or a working blowpipe. A tie-in Action Man animated series was produced but was only available on video in the UK, because of broadcast rules about advertising to children: a toy could follow a TV production but not the other way around. A 3 3/4 inch sized Action Man was sold in 2004 as part of a G. I. Joe'Night Force' set sold exclusively
Simon is an electronic game of memory skill invented by Ralph H. Baer and Howard J. Morrison, working for toy design firm Marvin Glass and Associates, with software programming by Lenny Cope; the device requires a user to repeat the sequence. If the user succeeds, the series becomes more complex. Once the user fails or the time limit runs out, the game is over; the original version was manufactured and distributed by Milton Bradley and by Hasbro after it took over Milton Bradley. Much of the assembly language was written by Charles Kapps, who taught computer science at Temple University and wrote one of the first books on the theory of computer programming. Simon was launched in 1978 at Studio 54 in New York City and was an immediate success, becoming a pop culture symbol of the 1970s and 1980s. Ralph H. Baer and Howard J. Morrison were introduced to Atari's arcade game Touch Me at the Music Operators of America trade show in 1976. Baer said of the product, "Nice gameplay. Terrible execution. Visually boring.
Miserable, rasping sounds." The prototype built by Baer used the low cost Texas Instruments TMS 1000 microcontroller chip, in many games of the 1970s. Lenny Cope, one of Ralph H. Baer's partners, programmed the core of the game, titled Follow Me at the time. Baer developed the tones of the game, inspired by the notes of a bugle; when they pitched the demo, an 8-by-8-inch console, to the Milton Bradley Company the name of the game was changed to Simon. Simon debuted in 1978 at a retail price of $24.95 and became one of the top-selling toys that Christmas. U. S. Patent 4,207,087: "Microcomputer controlled game", was granted in 1980. Milton Bradley soon capitalized on the original with both the smaller-sized Pocket Simon and the expanded, eight-button Super Simon. Many variants of Simon have been made since Hasbro acquired Milton Bradley in the 1980s, building on the possibilities offered by advances in technology; the original Super Simon was reinvented in the late 1990s as a hexagonal unit with six buttons.
2000 saw Simon Squared, a unit with the four traditional buttons on one side, a set of eight smaller buttons on the other. In 2004, Hasbro released the Simon Stix; the game features two electronic sticks, an emphasis on the musical part of the game, features four levels of play. In 2005, Hasbro released Simon Trickster, which features four game modes, in a similar fashion to another Hasbro game, Bop It, colored lenses instead of buttons. "Simon Classic" mode plays up to 35 tones. "Simon Bounce" is similar to "Simon Classic", but instead the colors of the lenses change. "Simon Surprise" is one of the most difficult games in the unit. Every lens becomes the player has to memorize the location. "Simon Rewind" requires the player to memorize the sequence backwards. During each game, the player is paid a compliment after a certain number of tones completed. On reaching five and eleven tones, the computer will randomly choose "Awesome!", "Nice!", "Sweet!" or "Respect!". On reaching 18 tones, the game will play a victory melody three times.
On reaching the ultimate 35 tones, the game will play the victory melody again and will say "Respect!". If the player fails to memorize the pattern or fails to press the right color within the time limit, the game will play a crashing sound and the game will say "Later!". In 2011, Hasbro introduced Simon Flash. In this version, the game is played with four cube-shaped electronic modules that the player must move around depending on the game mode. Both Yahtzee and Scrabble have received Flash variants. In 2013, Hasbro reinvented Simon once again with Simon Swipe; the game was released that summer. The game is a circular unit, it has been extended from four buttons to eight touchscreen buttons, which are flattened out on the unit. The game features four game modes, called "Levels", "Classic", "Party" and "Extreme"; the player has to go through all sixteen levels to beat the game. "Classic", "Party" and "Extreme" levels focus on one pattern getting longer and longer until the player is out. A smaller version of the game, called Simon Micro Series, was introduced in the fall of 2014.
This version has only two game modes called "Solo" and "Pass It" and features 14 levels and four buttons. There is a version of Simon created by Basic Fun known as the Touch Simon; this version plays melodies at specific parts of the game. In 2016, Hasbro launched the followup to Simon Swipe with Simon Air; the game was announced at a Hasbro press conference before the 2016 New York Toy Fair. This version of Simon uses motion sensors, similar to those in Mattel's Loopz line of games; the game has three game modes, "Solo", "Classic" and "Multiplayer". A button-pressing version of Simon was released in the US, with an aesthetic recalling that of the 1970s and 1980s models. Hasbro has released Simon Optix, a headset game with a motion sensor technology similar to Simon Air; the device has four colored buttons, each producing a particular tone when it is pressed or activated by the device. A round in the game consists of the device lighting up one or more buttons in a random order, after which the player must reproduce that order by pressing the buttons.
As the game progresses, the number of buttons to be pressed increases.. Simon is named after the simple children's game of Simon Says, but the gameplay is based on Atari's unpopular Touch Me arcade game from 1974. Simon d
Alameda is a city in Alameda County, United States. It is located on Alameda Island and Bay Farm Island, is adjacent to and south of Oakland and east of San Francisco across the San Francisco Bay. Bay Farm Island, a portion of, known as "Harbor Bay Isle", is not an island, is part of the mainland adjacent to the Oakland International Airport; the city's estimated 2017 population was 79,928. Alameda is a charter city, rather than a general law city, allowing the city to provide for any form of government. Alameda became a charter city and adopted a council–manager government in 1916, which it retains to the present; the island Alameda occupies what was a peninsula connected to Oakland. Much of it was low-lying and marshy, but on higher ground than the peninsula and adjacent parts of what is now downtown Oakland were home to one of the largest coastal oak forests in the world; the area was therefore called Encinal, Spanish for "forest of evergreen oak". Alameda is Spanish for "grove of poplar trees" or "tree-lined avenue", was chosen in 1853 by popular vote.
The inhabitants at the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the late 18th century were a local band of the Ohlone tribe. The peninsula became part of the vast Rancho San Antonio granted in 1820 to Luis Peralta by the Spanish king who claimed California; the grant was confirmed by the new Republic of Mexico upon its independence from Spain. Over time, the place became known as Encinal de San Antonio; the city was founded on June 6, 1853, the town contained three small settlements. "Alameda" referred to the village at Encinal and High Streets, Hibbardsville was at the North Shore ferry and shipping terminal, Woodstock was on the west near the ferry piers of the South Pacific Coast Railroad and the Central Pacific. The Central Pacific's ferry pier became the Alameda Mole, featuring transit connections between San Francisco ferries, local trollies and Southern Pacific commuter lines; the first post office opened in 1854. The first school, Schermerhorn School, was opened in 1855, Encinal School was opened in 1860.
The San Francisco and Alameda Railroad opened the Encinal station in 1864. The Encinal area was known as Fasskings Station in honor of Frederick Louis Fassking. Encinal's own post office opened in 1876, was renamed West End in 1877, closed in 1891; the West End area was called Bowman's Point in honor of Charles G. Bowman, an early settler; the Alameda Terminal was the site of the arrival of the first train via the First Transcontinental Railroad into the San Francisco Bay Area on September 6, 1869. The transcontinental terminus was switched to the Oakland Mole two months on November 8, 1869; the borders of Alameda were made coextensive with the island in 1872, incorporating Woodstock into Alameda. Mark Twain described Alameda as being "The Garden of California." In 1917, an attraction called. Compared to Coney Island, the park was a major attraction in the 1920s and 1930s; the original owners of the facility, the Strehlow family, partnered with a local confectioner to create tastes unique to Neptune Beach.
Both the American snow cone and the popsicle were first sold at Neptune Beach. The Kewpie doll, hand-painted and dressed in unique hand-sewn dresses, became the original prize for winning games at the beach – another Neptune Beach invention; the Strehlows owned and operated the beach on their own filling in a section of the bay to add an additional Olympic-size swimming pool and an exceptional roller coaster which must have given riders a tremendous view of the bay. The Cottage Baths were available for rent. Neptune Beach's two large outdoor pools hosted swimming races and exhibitions by swimmers such as Olympian Johnny Weissmuller, who starred as the original Tarzan, Jack LaLanne, who started a chain of health clubs; the park closed down in 1939 because of the Great Depression, the completion of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, people circumventing paying the admission price, the rise of car culture. Once the Bay Bridge was complete, the rail lines, which ran right past the entrance to Neptune Beach on the way to the Alameda Mole and the Ferry, lost riders in droves.
People began using their cars to escape the city and the immediate suburbs like Alameda and traveling further afield in California. Alameda lost its resort status as more distant locations became more attractive to cash-rich San Francisco tourists. Youngsters in town became aware of ways to avoid paying the dime for admission to the park. Strong swimmers or waders could sneak in on the bay side just by swimming around the fence; some of the resort homes and buildings from the Neptune beach era still exist in present-day Alameda. The Croll Building, on the corner of Webster Street and Central Avenue, was the site of Croll's Gardens and Hotel, used as training quarters for some of the greatest fighters in boxing history from 1883 to 1914. James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jim Jefferies, Jack Johnson, several other champions all stayed and trained here. Today this preserved building is home to the 1400 Bar & Grill Restaurant. Neptune Court, a block away on the corner of Central Ave. and McKay Ave. provides another glimpse of what resort life was like in Alameda in the 1920s.
The vast majority of the Neptune Beach structures – the hand-carved carousel from the world-famed Dentzel Company, the Ferris wheel, the roller coaster, other rides – were auctioned off in 1940 for mere pennies on the dollar of their original cost. Today, a consequence of the Neptune Beach closing around 1940 was a tota